4 February, 2023

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Economic Gloom, LG Polls & Coalitions Of Clowns

By Amer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The prospect of any economic revival in 2023 is evaporating by the day if one understands the implications of what the Standard Chartered Bank has revealed lately. IMF’s 2.9 billion dollars, which hinges on successful debt restructuring, and further fundings from other multilateral aid agencies seems to be at least six months if not a year away. Accordingly, the economy is expected to contract by one more percent to 8 in 2023, although World Bank (WB) with even worse prediction expects positive growth in 2024. Behind this gloom is the threat of a global recession predicted by IMF and WB. At least to reduce the current economic pain somewhat and get the local economy moving, the Governor of Central Bank has appealed to India and China to reduce their debt, which is highly unlikely. Even if they were to be reduced, that would raise problems with private creditors. As a result of all this, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (RW) 2013 budget would not be able to fulfil its promises.  

It is in such worrying scenario that the controversy over whether to hold or postpone Local Government Elections (LGE) scheduled to be held in March is dominating the political scene. Being an experienced politician, President RW knows very well that an election at present whether at presidential, general, provincial or local level would spell disaster to the political fortunes of RW as well as his SLPP backers. Although he remains non-committal in public, behind the scene however, he would certainly work to get the elections postponed. At least from a personal point of view it would be advantageous for RW to delay any election, because he needs time for the IMF strategy to work and deliver some progress so that he could then go before the people and claim credit for his economic wizardry. Based on that credit, his own party UNP would also be on a strong wicket to face an election at any level.  

Meanwhile and given the delay in IMF funds, debt restructuring and assistance from other sources there is also a political rationale for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s (MR) SLPP to delay the elections at least until RW’s taxing budget start biting the people. As time drags on and economic difficulties mount SLPP would then be able to shift the blame onto the incompetency of RW expecting voters to forget the original calamity caused by Rajapaksas. Sri Lankan voters have short memories, don’t they? 

In addition, and to the advantage of MR and Co., RW has embarked on a futile mission of resolving the Tamil national issue, which is a hot potato to any political party. RW started with an ambitious program to solve that problem for ever and before February this year, but he now realizes that it would be impossible and is reported to have postponed the whole discussion indefinitely. Had he continued with that agenda that would have given a golden opportunity to MR and his SLPP to bury him under the mud of Sinhala Buddhist ethnonationalism. 

To postpone the LGE therefore, the question of affordability was raised and an imaginary total of 10 billion rupees was quoted as the probable cost of holding LGE. That canard has now been shattered by the Election Commissioner who revealed that the actual cost would be only 5 billion and that money would be made readily available. Even then, the whole question of affordability is laughable in view of the far greater cost to tax payers of sustaining 225 parliamentarians, majority of whom are of substandard competency, with salaries, perks and security arrangements. This was why the aragalaya youth called for “No 225”.  

Finally, to add an international perspective, there is a view that IMF itself is in favour of LGE. Rather than pinpointing IMF it is safer to argue that because of the adverse international publicity of the Sri Lankan regime over its record of human rights violations, corruption and economic mismanagement there is a widespread feeling that the regime should receive a fresh mandate from the people. LGE is therefore unavoidable and as expected election fever has infected the country.    

What the nation witnessing now therefore is a comedy of coalitions among political clowns. The most startling one is that between RW’s UNP and MR’s SLPP. The former was routed by the latter in 2020 and the latter, and it was SLPP under its autocratic President GR, mishandled the economy and bankrupted the treasury. When GR was ousted (thanks to the aragalaya youth) RW became Rajapaksas’ guardian angel and now both have wedded in a marriage of convenience. It is like two lovers deciding to live or die together. Their party icons, elephant and lotus bud, would be used at convenience depending on the respective party’s popularity in different electorates.  

Against this unholy coalition is the Freedom People’s Alliance of 10 groups for the time being, many of whose members are disgruntled elements from SLPP. Of course, they claim to have allied to save the country, but from what or whom and how are left to one’s imagination. It appears that only SJB and NPP/JVP are left alone to fight individually. But politics is a strange animal and anything could happen between the two.

Comically, there are also coalitions mooted among minorities, and especially within the Muslim community. Unlike the grand coalition that wants to save the country, Muslim coalitions are always formed to save the leaders and their cronies. They would coalesce even with the devil if that devil would promise ministerial status and privileges.  The Tamils as usual would remain disunited and their largest political group TNA would pray for a close contest between the two major coalitions so that TNA could become the kingmaker.   

What is common among all these coalitions is the fact that apart from the IMF backed economic program to which RW could claim some credit none of the others have any alternative proposal for the economy to revive and peoples’ pain to reduce. Even SJB that criticizes the government has so far not come out with any alternative agenda  If it wants to renegotiate with IMF that would delay even further any chance of rebuilding the economy.  The only party that is constantly argues for a change in the SYSTEM seems to be NPP/JVP. 

The SYSTEM is exposing its bankruptcy by the day. It was only the other day that Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa revealed that more than $50 billion belonging to nationals are stacked away in foreign banks and safe havens. Most recently and according to information disclosed by the Ceylon Electricity Board and LECO under the Right to Information Act reveals a staggering amount of Rs.4,440 million as unpaid electricity bills from the rich and the powerful. The President with all the powers in his hands feels impotent to take remedial and decisive action to recoup these losses, because such action would mean interference with the system, which would jeopardize his own chance of getting re-elected. This had been the sad story of all Prime Ministers since 1947 and Presidents since 1978.

On a different note, the arrest of a free thinker, Sepal Amarasinghe for allegedly blaspheming the Dalada Tooth Relic, while allowing Buddhist monks who had been deliberately and insulting Islam and desecrating Hindu temples show how the system works in favour of one group and in disfavour of others. Should such a SYSTEM continue? This is the only question facing the nation at the moment. Conducting elections and replacing regimes with the same system is pointless. The aragalaya youth were on the money when they demanded system change and the country desperately needs them to continue with their mission. Even if the economy were to revive in 2024 as WB predicts it would be a wobbly revival without SYSTEM CHANGE. In this context, RW’s 25 years plan of reforms expected to be released on the Independence Day would be a catalogue of promises without structural choherence.    

*Dr. Amer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 17
    3

    The “Humbaggaery” and “Hypocritic” nature of President Ranil W was clearly demonstrated in public when you analyze the series of attempts he made to stall the LGE.

    (1) Ranil W attempted to reduce the number of LG Representatives from 8000 to 4000.
    (2) He appointed a “Delimitation Commission” under the Chairmanship of the former EC Chairman.
    (3) Wanted to bring an Amendment to the LG Election Law.
    (4) Summond the EC members (highly unethical and against the Constitution) and got his “Media Unit” to issue a Press Statement stating that there was a “Division” among the members of EC and requested them to come to a “Unanimous” decision on holding LG elections.
    (5) Got a “Goon”, a “Retired Colonel” to file a petition in SC requesting to issue a “Writ” against the EC and stop holding EG elections.
    (6)Made “Public Announcements” via “Media” stating the Government hasn’t got “Rs.10” million to spend on LG elections.
    (7) Got a “Cabinet Decision” to stop accepting “Deposits” from the contestants and pushed the Secretary to the Ministry of PA to issue instructions to District/Divisional Secretaries.

    Continued……II

    • 9
      4

      “Even then, the whole question of affordability is laughable in view of the far greater cost to tax payers of sustaining 225 parliamentarians, majority of whom are of substandard competency, with salaries, perks and security arrangements.”
      I would really appreciate it if either Dr.Ali or some other knowledgeable person would tabulate the actual cost of maintaining 225 parliamentarians. Like the famous bond scam, nobody is able to produce real provable figures.
      Even at 1000,000 per month, the cost works out to 2.6 billion for a YEAR. Does anyone know better?

      • 11
        13

        You think you are very smart when you say this ! Can you tell us how much the country lost due to various fancy projects of the Rajapaksa family ? ( exact amount ) Also where they are hiding the money-exact place.

        Can you tell us what negligence Sirisena committed exactly compared to other acts of bombings by terrorists and their consequences starting from 1977 and whether all Presidents were negligent in not preventing them ? In 1983 was JR negligent in not preventing the riots ?

        When your father in law is the Governor of the central bank and you( son in law) buy almost all the bonds offered, ( other brokers not even told of this particular auction -read Shafter’s and other evidence at the inquiry) father in law decides the quantum as well as interest rate , father in law is the best friend of PM Ranil who appointed father in law as governor and just before the sale brought the bank under his( PMs) control and father in law is a major fund raiser for Ranil etc etc …

        You are just an old man who is too old and set in his ugly self to change now.

        • 5
          9

          Deepthi the super-smart,
          All information about an MP’s pay, perks, etc are in the public domain. The Rajapaksa’s commissions are not.
          There was NO state money used to buy the bonds in the so called bond scam. That’s why the accused were discharged of abuse of state property.
          If that is too complicated for you, I can translate it to Goday Ingirisi .
          “You are just an old man who is too old and set in his ugly self”. Please convey my best wishes to your very normal thoracic appendages.

        • 8
          3

          deepthi silva

          Hold your horses, don’t kill the messenger. I am sure Dr Ali is frustrated as I am, & no doubt many average citizens, of the injustice & how ill gotten wealth is blatantly flaunted. We all know a system change is absolutely necessary but if people are silent, it is sign of accepting the status quo meekly & no change is going to happen. The aragalaya has to continue until there is a change & support in any form is necessary.

        • 6
          5

          deepthi desperate silva

          “Also where they are hiding the money-exact place.”

          Do you think the seasoned crooks are that stupid to let you and old codger know about it, fearing you may demand a share and old codger may attempt to recove the full amount for the country and people.

          ………………………… Sirisena committed exactly compared to other acts of bombings by terrorists and their consequences starting from 1977 and whether all Presidents were negligent in not preventing them ?

          Terrorism started in April 1971. Sirisena was arrested and held for sometime his participation in JVP’s terrorist activities.
          SJ’s poster boy SWRD Banda did not want to prevent rioting, looting, burning businesses and houses, raping and … until Hindians ( V V Giri?) warned him.

          “In 1983 was JR negligent in not preventing the riots ?”

          Yet you elected him and his party twice since 1983.

          • 0
            3

            NV
            I happily thought that you were away for therapy and will be better when you are back.
            But it looks as if you are back to the ‘normal’ and obsession with SJ persists.
            Please see a good practitioner asap.
            I care for your sanity.
            Best Wishes.

            • 3
              0

              FYI

              See what happened to the countries with newly found oil and gas.
              https://twitter.com/meenilankco/status/1614903623527415809

        • 4
          2

          DS,
          .
          Now how do you see something unbiased? I thought you’d never see it right. Have you changed your diet recently?
          :
          If anyone has done wrong to the country it is Medamulana bps. By October 2018, Bagar Sorisena had become a madman as he killed and corrupted “Sorisena” from 2015 to 2019. Today, it is becoming clear that bp will have to shake its head in the near future. With the Supreme Court’s verdict, he will definitely go to jail, no doubt about it.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHVJ3RGrbic
          .
          .Unfortunately our straw-eaters or our majority people blame all politicians equally. Or they point the finger at the entire 75 years…. make those “JVP cry babies” happy. They do not think twice before deciding anything.
          :

    • 8
      3

      Dear Sensitive readers,
      .
      Everyone on the outside can easily criticize. RW basher is back at his usual job.
      It’s the same for me. I don’t mind, but what will be the result? Do we have other better options?
      Can crying babies (JVPrs) do miracles in today’s context? Do they have “Aladdin’s Wonder- Lamp”? Who are their aid countries ?Cuba ? Do they have better ties with the Chinese? Why don’t they discuss them openly even today? These men should come to down realities, we are far poor nation than appeared to be. Post turtle adulations would not bring us an-inch forward.

      This reminded me of the great prophecy of “Our Reverend Sobitha”. People’s eyes in this country are completely clouded and cannot separate from myths and untrue information.
      It would take decades for them to “wisdom”. That is why there was no difference between his prediction and the outcome of “the end of good government”.

      tbc

    • 3
      1

      Alliance of Clowns:
      .
      There is a saying in common Sinhala parlance that “land crocodiles (kabara)” turn into “iguanas (thalagoyas)” if they want to eat.
      .
      There is no foundation in their thinking. They are selfish in every way. The same constituent parties have, in fact, proven opposed to “federal solutions to Sri Lanka’s long-standing ethnic problems”. These human races are like poisonouus reptiles.
      :
      How is the world of Mlechcha so cruel?

      South Asians are more conflict-makers than peace-makers. They have it their blood.

      . It is the basis of all the setbacks in that impoverished region of 2 billion or 1/4 of the world’s population.

  • 10
    2

    II: Re. (4) above the Chairman and Members of EC have in one voice announced that there was no “Division” whatsoever in making the decision to start the LG election process. So the “President Media Statement” was a “HAUX” and an “ATTEMPT” to mislead the public.
    Re. (6) The EC has confirmed that it would not cost “Rs.10” million, but would require around “Rs.8 m”. Even otherwise this expense on the election is already allocated in the approved Budget for 2023. It is left to the Treasury to transfer the money to EC.
    Re. (7) The Secretary to Public Administration has already tendered an “Apology” to EC for the instructions sent to District/Divisional Secretaries and withdrawn the letter.
    Re. (5) The “Petition” requesting the “Writ” against EC states that the country cannot raise the “Rs.10m” and would have to be “Burrowed”. In addition, if this money is spent on LG elections, the “ELECTRICAL TARIFFS” would have to be increased, thus infusing a “FEAR” monger in the minds of the people.

    Now the “LATEST” news: The IGP says he cannot deploy his staff (Police) on Election Duties if the sums of money required are not paid in advance. Who is IGP trying to “FOOL” and “WHO” is to say it? What “BACKING” or “PERSUASION” he has got to say that? Is he the next “SCAPEGOAT” like the Secretary to PA Ministry?

    • 8
      10

      I say Old codger are you so daft? Of course the dealers/public buy Bonds. But the government/people ( the borrower)have to pay for it when they mature.

      When you borrow ,you must be very careful, just borrow the bare minimum and pay the least interest. That is what normally happens. No one will borrow excessively and pay higher interests than absolutely necessary.

      Mahendran raised the interests for his son in law.( check the facts old man)

      In this case this Mahendran accepted all the bids given by his son in law( It never happens, never will all bids be accepted by the central bank). Much later to cover Mahendran that rough Ravi K. gave an undated and unreferenced letter which was scandalous. Ranil/Ravi.Malik all involved

      Your Ranil is a devious criminal.

      • 3
        4

        Deepthi the bond expert,
        So, how much more interest did the CB pay? Do you even know what the current interest rate is? Or even the rate in 2000? So, where is the REAL loss on a THIRTY YEAR bond?
        Why are you hiding at the bottom of the page?

        • 3
          8

          Ah old clown ! How is Mr.Johnny English doing ? Isn’t Mr Beans just like our RW !

          What is the relevance of the interest rates ? Are you saying Aloysius and Mahendran were honest ? Who facilitated and covered for these two South Indian frauds ? I think Aloysius’s grandfather was an illegal immigrant, like many of you in European countries now. Of course OC pretends to be English , the smell gives him a way though !

          • 3
            1

            Deepthi the math genius,
            “What is the relevance of the interest rates ?”
            If you don’t know that, you shouldn’t be talking about bonds. Mahendran bumped up the rate by 3% , from 9 to 12. For all armchair pundits like you, THAT was the only “loss”. Right now, it is not a loss but a profit of 20% , because the CB currently borrows money at 32%. Get it, genius?
            “OC pretends to be English , the smell gives him a way”. I really loved the moustache you had, the last time we met. Goes very well with the hairy……..

            • 2
              2

              Old cad, I talk about your odour but you are making vulgar suggestions ! That is the difference between us !

              Yes interest rates don’t matter because a fraud is a fraud whatever the circumstances. If a man took a bribe of 5 Rupees one hundred years ago , and another took a bribe of One million yesterday , the 5 rupee bribe taker is not less guilty.

              You are another con-expert like your Ranil . If the government is paying 30% to borrow today and it paid 12% to borrow when Mahendran was governor what is the big point ? The world keeps changing old man.

              The money Mahendran borrowed now has to be paid by the government by borrowing at 30%( since ranil is such an expert why doesn’t he reduce the present interest rate to 12% ! !)

              • 1
                1

                Deepthi of the huge hooters,
                Your logic is of the same quality as your odour……
                Why not talk about something you know, like the proper way to carry a fish…….?

  • 17
    4

    This “HUMBUGGERY” and “HYPOCRISY” of this President Ranil W will continue. When will it STOP?
    III: A sum of “Rs. 20 million” has been allocated to “CELEBRATE” the “75th Independence” Day on 4th February. The THEME” of the event is stated as ” The SPLENDOR and PROSPERITY in 2048″.

    Why not “STOP” this “CELEBRATION” and spend that allocation on EG elections? Are we in a state of “Celebration” confronted with all the economic hardships that are so many to be briefed here?

    Ironically, no Political Party/Social Activists have brought up this issue of “Independence Celebration” and” CRY” that allocation is utilized at least to buy the school children their requirements to begin the New Year School sessions. What types of “HYPOCRITES” and “HUMBUGS” do we live with? That “HUMBUGGARY” and “HYPOCRISY” at the expense of the “OPPRESSED” will continue unless a “CHANGE” takes place.

    • 11
      1

      My dear Simon: This “HUMBUGGERY” and “HYPOCRISY” Is it not the underlining Trait of Chinhala Buddhists????

  • 10
    1

    What is there to celebrate on the 4th by the way, what a atrocities…….by 2048 it will be lion blood only.

    • 8
      2

      Cugan. It is the time to yell out: British, please, please, please come back. Handing reigns over to the Chianhalas was an epochal mistake.

      • 4
        3

        Look at the civil service now and then
        Brit choosed tamil Over chinkalam they knew the ground realities of these thada thick heads thaddias
        When they leave its good Ceylon the respect and the name
        Now it’s sukiri Lanka

        • 0
          7

          Cugan look no further for shameless Tamil racism.

          • 1
            1

            S
            Do not generalize based on one sick mind.

        • 3
          3

          Nostalgia for the empire seems worse among the slaves than the masters.

          • 1
            0

            SJ. The masters sure helped you to stand on your two little feet, for sure.

      • 2
        5

        Have you experts compared the life expectancy etc before 1948 to what it is today? It’s well worth doing before making wild, ridiculous statements.

        • 3
          1

          After the 2nd world war radical change from food to medicine etc in the globe.
          These killers thinking they manage to increase the life expectancy on their own. We had food sufficiency with brain people.burnt down the library by state.
          Physically attacked the temples and mosques are free Sepal in cell

      • 0
        3

        h
        That is exactly what the Tamil leaders are doing. See who they want to intervene to ‘save’ them!

  • 7
    3

    What change? The voters love this
    Politics and religion to hoodwink jokers
    Sepala out mumbo jumbo charlatans in. Evil in Good out

    In the days of yore I know the Bible says kings went to prophets in the ancient lands
    But here shiny suited booted, prophets going to politicians in this modern land.

    What we need is to forget the land and master the sea….. Another Patriot Admiral in others out!
    Chinese friends out Indian relatives in.

  • 10
    2

    My vote is for Ranil/Rajapakse: at least they provide daily entertainment for empty stomachs ………. the others are too serious and strident ……. grating


    Elections-time is in the air ……. “All the fleas are dreaming of getting together and buying themselves a dog.” — Some South American poet Manel mentioned here.

    Will the dog be Ranil or Mahinda? ……… Or Ranil and Mahinda?

    Bandarawela: a cold town, has dogs with longer hair …… to hide the past ………. violence, murder, racism ……..


    Wish the hunger makes people kill all dogs and eat them ….. fleas will be eradicated from the land ……. Native, the Chinese say it’s yummy.

    • 5
      0

      nimal fernando

      “Wish the hunger makes people kill all dogs and eat them ….. fleas will be eradicated from the land ……. Native, the Chinese say it’s yummy”

      I am a Vegan. You don’t believe me.
      Do you? (By the way I am not a Militant Vegan).

      • 4
        0

        Native,

        “I am a Vegan.”

        I’m not surprised.

        “By the way I am not a Militant Vegan”

        Not surprised, again. :)) …….. You are very camp, Native ……. pet-causes …….no death-penalty, nonviolence, reluctant feminist, …….. all faves of the Colombo 7 idle ……….. looking for something to do :))

        My favourite food, stakes; blood-dripping rarer the better ……. and Sushi; raw flesh of any type ……. sooooo yummy!

        And I haven’t killed a fly …….. there you go.

        • 5
          0

          nimal fernando

          “My favourite food, stakes; blood-dripping rarer the better ……. and Sushi; raw flesh of any type ……. sooooo yummy!
          And I haven’t killed a fly …….. there you go.”

          You are qualified to be a Sri Lankan Theravada monk.

    • 2
      0

      Nimal, did I name the poet?
      Was it Otto Rene Castillo?
      Did I quote the poem someone close to me wrote in appreciation of ORC?

      • 2
        1

        Manel,

        It’s Eduardo Galeano …… I think you mentioned him in your discussion with someone about ORC. I didn’t know him, it made me look him up.

        All the pols who are now running around to find themselves a “Sandanaya” to hang on to in the coming polls ……. made me think about the fleas and dogs. :))


        “The Nobodies

        Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping
        poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on
        them—will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down
        yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a
        fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their
        left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right
        foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms.

        The nobodies: nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the
        no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life,
        screwed every which way.

        • 0
          1

          continued

          Who are not, but could be.
          Who don’t speak languages, but dialects.
          Who don’t have religions, but superstitions.
          Who don’t create art, but handicrafts.
          Who don’t have culture, but folklore.
          Who are not human beings, but human resources.
          Who do not have faces, but arms.
          Who do not have names, but numbers.
          Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police
          blotter of the local paper.
          The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.”

          ― Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent

        • 2
          0

          Oh, Galeano. He’s a writer but not, as far as I know, a poet. I’m surprised you havent heard of him tho you seem to be so widely read.
          I have his “Veins of Latin America”, the “Memory of Fire” trilogy & “Upside Down”. A pity to miss them altogether.

          • 5
            0

            Oh, I’ve just seen your quote from him — that’s poetry I suppose.
            Must go and hunt out my copy now.

  • 5
    1

    Economic Gloom, LG Polls & Coalitions Of Clowns

    IMF will reset Sri lanka call for Ranilwants to president in cover of pohottuwa ,The universe doesn’t give you what you want in your mind; it gives you what you demand with your actions, where is the restructure only what he will do is increase the taxes

  • 3
    1

    The line….
    …….Their party icons,Elephant and Lotus Bud,would be used at convenience depending on the Partys popularity in different electorates……………..

    The politics of Srilanka is indeed strange
    The Elephant carries the Lotus Bud and then they change their roles etc etc.
    The recent influx of Tourists into the country is to see this spectacle………

    • 4
      0

      Plato,
      .
      People are weird, aren’t they? They have been like that for as long as I have known them (50 years). Irrespective of their caste, religion, they support anyone in their political dirty business. It’s in their blood. Corruption and crime create that mentality.

      Today I couldn’t even believe, when a drug trafficker in the province is killed, some villagers celebrate with “milk overflowing”. if you would study them closely, most of them would be ” sinhala buddhists”.
      :-
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGc4FUqlQH0

      A large number of people prefer to watch the procession of elephants dressed in jangi and other costumes to fulfill the expectations of the people. The fairy tales foisted on them are believed to be “Buddhism for them”: practices that, to an outsider like me, fall under the category of “animal cruelty”: the sadhu-sadhu and sorcery influence has blinded them forever. That being the case, “average mentality” is no different from mental patients in Mulleriya or Angoda… Or am I not wrong here ?

  • 5
    4

    The question is what is Ranil achieved so far other than sending Gota and Rajapaksa family?
    Did he get IMF loan?
    Did he get China debt restructuring?
    Did he get India debt restructuring?
    Did he reduce corruption?
    Did he reduce cost of living?
    Did he reduce the Militray expenditure?
    Did he find any solution to the Tamils problem?
    How many foreign visits he made?
    Even today, he went to jaffna in the name of celebrating Thai Pongal but visited first to get Nagadeepa Monks approval to visit Nallur.
    To the writer, Ranil had the same experience that of Rajapaksa on cheating the people and country. If you add the experience of both it is more than 75 years.

    • 3
      1

      Ajith. RW is not tasked to do any of what you have listed. He is the Wet Nurse of the Rajapakshe Family. He is doing a great job with 100% satisfaction. There is ample grass for rest to ear.

  • 1
    0

    System Change is not a list of promises by the leader who earlier promised gold bangles and car factories. It must include a different form of government, where the family cannot rob the citizens’ finances to starve them, nulling the auditors. What is hidden in Uganda and elsewhere must be recovered to where it belongs.

  • 4
    2

    “The Tamils as usual would remain disunited and their largest political group TNA would pray for a close contest between the two major coalitions so that TNA could become the kingmaker.”
    The author seems to be hallucinating.
    When did the TNA ever seek to be “kingmaker”?
    That role was played by Hill Country Tamil and Muslim leaders and the likes of Douglas D.
    The FP shared the bed with the UNP from 1965 to 1968, but nothing was achieved.
    In 1970 when the UF won a thumping majority in parliament SJVC, the FP’s prophet, moaned “Only God can save the Tamils now”.
    The FP/TUF/TULF/TNA had flirted with the UNP several times since then, but only to look stupid in the end.
    *
    King making? They should have taken lessons from Thondaman and Ashroff on political wheeling-dealing.

    • 1
      3

      “King making? They should have taken lessons from Thondaman and Ashroff on political wheeling-dealing.”

      What a wonderful life for Muslims and Up country Tamils? Yes It is good life for political leaders of these communities . Muslims have become terrorists now and when will the Up country Tamils become terrorists?

      • 1
        1

        Tamil leaders talked big about their being the king makers up to 1977, when the big boss announced that only God can save the Tamils.
        What was the outcome? A stupid separatist demand and the rise of a murderous Tamil dictator.
        Do not curse others but the stupidity of a majority who are still led by the likes of the FP/TNA and others who worship a mass killer.

  • 2
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    Of Economic Gloom, LG Polls & Coalitions Of Clowns, lets consider UK, the 7th biggest economy in the world.

    Apart from the traditional Monarchy (which many believe is a burden on the tax payer) & the House of Lords (which the Labour party believes is out of date & needs to be abolished, just like our Provincial Councils), there are 650 elected member (representing 67m people) who are paid £84k (PA) plus allowances for maintaining an office & travel for attending Parliament but no bodyguards or official vehicles. The Max. number of Ministers paid by the govt. is limited to 109. Currently, there are 121 Ministers, of whom 107 are unpaid. A Minister is entitled to an additional £67k, a Junior Minister £31k & the PM, £71k, plus allowances for maintaining a residence in London, official vehicle (which has to be returned), a police chauffeur & bodyguard. Pensions are contributory, just as for any other citizen. All Parliamentarians are held accountable & there is a Ministerial Code of Conduct, which even the PM has to abide by. The House of Lords is not political & members are heredity or elected but receives no payment, apart from £300 for attending parliament. In comparison, what a gravy train it is in bankrupt SL for politicians & their cronies. No wonder the politicians want to celebrate independence for giving them the opportunity to plunder the country, even when the population is starving.
    Cont.

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    Cont.
    Most UK politicians have University education & a successful career history before politics but if unable to deliver, the end is swift. Liz Truss was a high flying politician but lasted only 44 days as PM. She only reduced tax for the rich (unlike GR) & planed to borrow to fill the deficit but the economy collapsed overnight & the independent Bank of England stepped into save the day. The rest is history & the end of Liz Truss politically. In contrast, SL politicians are jokers but the laugh is on the citizens. It is the politicians, the oligarchs & the cronies who are laughing, all the way to their offshore accounts & assets abroad but will they enjoy their ill gotten gain to the full before they die? Unlikely, it would be, most probably, the generations to follow or even outsiders.

    Clowns are people who make you happy but certainly not these despicable punks.

  • 3
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    The Hardworking-Suffering-Lankan-Masses, the 98% of the country, are not fazed by a RS10-billion money waiver for LGE. They see the monetary advantage of releasing the Lankan hoarded wealth of the Ranil-Rajapaksa coalition as the only way for any future prosperity of the country.

    They are well aware of this : That the IMF will only work with countries that subscribe to established IMF financial system. And Russia and China are only inimical small-part owners in the IMF, if at all. But just look at how GoSL is frolicking with China and Russia over the sufferings of the people. How the heck will they ever get IMF help with that?

    In the meantime, irrespective of the sufferings of the people, instead of honorably resigning, GoSL is STILL indulging in their geo-political games. Our very famous Lankan ambassadors, instead of working conscientiously for the Lankan people, are STILL futility trying to merge the competing monetary systems, and actually attempting to hold Damocles swords over the established financial systems heads! Can you believe the audacity!

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    Ok, we understand that as the IMF is not giving us loans, GoSL is turning to Russia and China. But IMF still knows what Ranil-Rajapaksas crazed ambitions are about, (over the suffering of their people), and therefore any money given to the Ranil-Rajapaksa offshore group of companies cannot be trusted.

    The Lankan Masses KNOW that once the Ranil-Rajapaksa coalition is toppled, IMF will readily give Motherland the needed monies. You see, the IMF formula is only about working with established governments, according to their governmental law-structure. This is what keeps them running successfully and helping billions of people around the world. Only once corrupt governments are toppled by their own conscientious people, can they can release the hoarded off-shore wealth that actually belong to the hard-work of the citizens of countries.

    IMF-World-Bank will thus give 100% of the monies of the Hardworking-Suffering-Lankan Masses back to Sri Lanka via JVP-Sajith coalition, plus much more! Rise up People, against the Ranil-Rajapaksa coalition!

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      You see, the IMF formula is only about working with established governments, according to IMF governmental law-structure. *

  • 1
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    No point wasting time discussing what has happen so far. I want to see a New Constitution passed by a referendum ASAP. The Ministry of Defence especially the military Intelligence needs to be completely overhauled. We need people like Shani Abeyasekara to head it!

  • 1
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    Some totally factual, but not particularly interesting stuff from Bandarawela:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIlLVMcnEEQ
    .
    I’ve only just seen this – midnight 18-19th January 2023, although it appears t have been on the web for three days. I was at the meeting. Vidyaratne is the most prominent NPP politician in the Badulla District. He did much to expose the harm done by the ill-thought out Uma Oya Scheme. Not my favourite speaker because he sounds bitter all the time. However, note how, by the middle of this 20-minute speech, he acknowledges that the Brits left us some useful things (tea estates & railway), unlike what our own recent “rulers” did.

    I was at this meeting; this speech was sandwiched between those by Harini Amarasuriya and Tilvin Silva.

  • 1
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    The need for responsibility:


    PART ONE
    .
    Given the dire situation of our country it is vital that we don’t mislead people. For my earlier report on this meeting, when the link to the Vidyaratne speech was not available, please go to the last comments on this article:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-case-for-and-against-anura-kumara-dissanayake/
    .
    I clearly identify myself,
    allow others to know the facts, then give my opinion, and state whom I will support at the now eagerly anticipated elections. Please contrast this with the practice of “leelagemalli”, who I grant is a decent and normally honest man. See his comments there.
    .
    He consistently makes these feeble attempts to harm the NPP/JVP. Dr Harini Amarasuriya is a breath of fresh air that has entered our Parliament; I listen to all her available speeches, and I occasionally exchange brief emails with her, trying to provide her with my grass-roots knowledge. Harini knows her place within the NPP; “leelagemalli’s” attempts to sow dissension within the NPP are ridiculous in themselves, but the presence of his comments below every article on this website may confuse some readers.

  • 1
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    PART TWO
    .
    Contrast that with the practice of the cowardly anonymous (to average readers, not to me) “leelagemalli”. When our most prominent enemies were the Rajapaksas there was no problem between LM and me. But now, he seems to be espousing the cause of our illegitimate Dictator (Ranil Wickremasinghe) and his mafia.
    .
    LM makes outrageously incorrect statements about the wrongly incarcerated youth leader, Wasantha Mudalige. He claims from Germany, that Lankans don’t want elections, and casts aspersions on the sterling qualities of AKD. Honest Simon from Unawatuna, Galle, has been warning me of the risks of turning the NPP into a one-man-show of AKD. That is something that AKD himself is doing all that he can to avoid, and we understand it. AKD did not participate in the Bandarawela Meeting. I have never been in the same place as him, or communicated directly with him. It shall not matter much to me.

    • 1
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      Dear Sensitive readers,
      .
      I have never said that I am supporting anyone. I mean there are no other options at the moment. If India and the International Monetary Fund do not come to the aid of the nation soon, the danger before the people is much greater than it appears.
      So those who cry for elections or other selfish programs should see it right. if not today when ?
      A country, a nation that is now hanging by a single hair, must be able to see this very crucial phase of the nation or it correctly.

      I know how much the Greek suffered like 7 years ago. It was reported that some less fortunate Greeks in the area voluntarily became “assistance to the sick” in order to be entitled to “state social funds”.
      Most people in our country are much poorer than fallen Greece and their thought patterns are more progressive than those with a South Asian mentality.

  • 1
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    PART THREE
    .
    Today, we have are able to observe close up the performances of our leaders using the Internet. Of course some are misled by what they see there, which is why I always exercise opportunities to be present in person. “leelagemalli” (my close friend for two years, during which time we exchanged about two thousand emails!), mostly him telling me to listen to all sorts of YouTubes. A few of them were useful, but most amounted to insults to my own intelligence. There is far too much n the Internet; being directed to relevant material is helpful, but what LM expects is that we adopt exactly the same attitudes as he holds. Suggest that he re-thinks his attitudes, and he rails at you, refusing even to listen to two specified minutes in two hour YouTubes.
    [edited out]

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      Some abusive individuals who are caught up in the “89 killers” today speak for others without knowing the reality.
      Some of them are completely scandalous in every way. This is common in our sinnhala race. Even if everything was clear that RAJAPAKSHEs should not return to power, we had sinhala diaspora people in Milano, and other parts of Italy that collected funds for Rajapakshe’s return. So did they work 3 years ago. Those labourers in Middle east countries funded Rajapapkshes comeback being misled by the criminal tactics of mlechcha Rajapakshes.
      :
      I hope that the NPP will get a chance but don’t let those who killed our youth in 89 make it Venezuela again and rule this corner of the country. I know how they brutally burned innocent brothers in 89 and how they took justice into their own hands and proceeded with their murderous tactics by making a collection of “Youth National ID Cards”.
      .
      We don’t need to remind the mlechcha crime tactics of Rajapaksas, but the activities of JVP back then were even more. They fed the own flesh and bones of sons to their parents and loved ones for no good reason. The grade of mlechcha levels are not even seen in canibalistic sentinel island tribe

      • 1
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        ICU patients cannot be ignored. Likewise, dire situation of a nation cant be set in danger. Their lives must be saved. At that moment, if the culprits move on with their selfish agendas, there must be something bigger to be considered wrong.That is what I see in current endeavours of the JVprs. Many like me would not disgree with NPP. But whole lot of people should realize them
        Politicians in Sri Lanka are usually jokers. This is blatant, but simply true.
        There is no stability in their politics. Honesty is not in them. Is that common with South Asian politicians? I’m tired of them. This is also valid for JVP members who are not new to Sri Lankan politics.
        The JVP party is said to be about fifty years old. A new coalition of all good candidates can do more at this crucial stage. Unfortunatelly, some naive but self-proclaimed professionals, individuals are being abused by JVPrs today.

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    Here’s the main speech in Bandarawela: Firty-two minutes of Tilvin Silva:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb0t0vu2hxI

    This 48-minute YouTube represents the beginning of the Bandarawela electorate Meeting on the 13th of January:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8ItfHjkle4
    .
    It is not recommended for the average reader. The quality, especially the sound, is terrible. However, there is a 15-minute speech in Tamil beginning 28 minutes into the video.
    .
    A man who was not there was the Member of Parliament for the Gampaha District, Vijitha Herath. However, I have found this 14 minute video, which carries the same date:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qla1P7uEoM4
    .
    And that has Vijitha launching into some Tamil that sounds fluent. The location is clearly identified as Anuradhapura West, but the date may represent when it was uploaded to YouTube.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5keGxANDB8
    .
    What you see above is a link to fifteen effective minutes by Tharindu Uduwaragedera, a voice of the Aragalaya, who will vote NPP himself, but is independent of the Party led by AKD. Listen, if you can understand Sinhala. It’s quiet, rational discussion of the support that the four major Sinhalese Groups can expect.

  • 1
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    I hope that I will be permitted to add a few more links.
    .
    This is Harini Amarasuriya at the Bandarawela meeting. Twenty-one minutes, in Sinhala
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUfSZ_XnDvU
    .
    Sunil Handunetti is in Japan. This recording is almost two hours. There appears to be far too much of echo to listen comfortably:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGfNOriOCl4
    .
    And lastly, this recording of the opening of the Bandarawela will, hopefully, be of better quality than the one given earlier.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRrh_SlmkoY
    .
    I fear not; I noticed a Sinhala YouTube comment complaining of quality.

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